Anna Sorokin, the young Russian-German woman who bilked wealthy New Yorkers while pretending to be an heiress herself, has said she would fight deportation to Germany after her recent release from prison.
The 31-year-old Sorokin, whose extraordinary story inspired a fictionalized series on Netflix and who has been a social-media phenomenon, was freed on bail late Friday, Oct. 7, and immediately placed under house arrest, with an ankle bracelet confining her to her modest Manhattan apartment.
She had spent the last year and a half in a detention center north of New York City operated by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, convicted of overstaying her tourist visa.
Sorokin was first arrested in 2017, then sentenced in 2019 to two years in a New York detention center on charges including grand larceny. No sooner had she served that sentence—she was released early for good behavior—than ICE agents detained her.
Since February, she has faced a deportation order to Germany, but in a weekend interview in her Manhattan building with The New York Times, Sorokin said she was fighting to stay in the United States.
"Letting them deport me would have been like a sign of capitulation—confirmation of this perception of me as this shallow person who only cares about obscene wealth, and that's just not the reality," she told the Times.
"I could have left," Sorokin added, "but I chose not to because I'm trying to fix what I've done wrong. I have so much history in New York and I felt like if I were in Europe, I'd be running from something."
Passing herself off in 2016 and 2017 as Anna Delvey—a German heiress who claimed to have a fortune of $60 million—Sorokin insinuated herself into the upper reaches of New York society, persuading members of the elite to invest in an exclusive arts club bearing her name.
She had a rare talent for spinning elaborate lies with a preternatural poise that made them seem believable.
Sorokin obtained tens of thousands of dollars in loans, free trips on a private jet, and accommodation in some of New York's swankiest boutique hotels.
In all, prosecutors said, she swindled the unsuspecting out of $275,000.
The Russian-born Sorokin, who holds German citizenship, is the daughter of a truck driver and a shopkeeper who emigrated to Germany in 2007.
In her oversized designer glasses that were something of a trademark, she frequented the fashion worlds of London and Paris before moving to New York in 2013 for Fashion Week.
Her story eventually caught the attention of American producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal), who turned it into the Netflix miniseries Inventing Anna, starring Julia Garner. (AFP)